Khieu’s suffering began when his father was killed for allowing cows to wander into a nearby cornfield. Later, his mother and two sisters were executed—victims of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge. Then Khieu was injured by a land mine. He waited 16 days in the jungle for help to arrive. His leg had to be amputated. “I didn’t want to live,” Khieu says.
YOU may have noted that suffering does not discriminate. Natural disasters, illness and disability, violent crime, and other tragedies can afflict anyone, anywhere, anytime. Humanitarian organizations have worked tirelessly to prevent or at least to relieve human suffering. But what have their efforts achieved?
Consider one example—the battle against hunger. According to the Toronto Star newspaper, natural disasters have left many homeless and without food. However, the paper reports that “the efforts of agencies that work to alleviate hunger are hampered by mounting violence.”
Political, social, and medical leaders have all tried their best to alleviate suffering, but the results have been disappointing. Programs to stimulate economic growth have not eliminated poverty. Vaccines, drugs, and advanced surgical techniques cannot end all sickness. Police officers and peacekeeping forces watch helplessly as violent crime persists or even escalates.
Why is there so much suffering? Does God care about what humans are enduring? Millions have found comforting answers to those questions in the Bible, as we will see.